Goodbye, Max

My Heart is hurting today. Today I had to say goodbye to one of my best friends, Max. Max was a 19-year old Manx cat and I had to make the decision to send him to the Rainbow Bridge. His brother Cleo (whom I lost back in April) is there waiting for him and now they can be together again, as they were while they were here on Earth.

My Gran always told me that as a parent, you’re not supposed to have favorites. But I couldn’t help having an extra soft spot for the tiny kitten who came into our lives back in 1993. Since I never had kids, my animals became ‘surrogate’ children, and Max was undoubtedly my favorite.  We rescued Max from a “backyard breeder” in Indianapolis when he was only 5 weeks old. He was the runt of the litter and fit in the palm of my ex-husband’s hand! The poor little guy was all belly and ears (and of course, without a tail) and covered in fleas. It looked like he had had to fight for his food against his siblings and he growled when he ate for the first month. But we knew right away that this was one kitten who would give us all he had.

All belly and ears!

We named him “Max” because he was a Manx to the Max! The Manx breed are born without tails and are some of the most loyal, loving cats you can find. They usually bond with one person and Max has always preferred men over women, for some reason. I didn’t take offense, I just loved him anyway. He was a constant source of laughs for us as he was always showing us how brave he was. We had a 55-gallon fish tank with Oscars at the time we first got him. It sat on cinder blocks on the floor, because we didn’t have a stand for it at the time, so there was a small ledge going all the way around that Max would walk on. The fish were bigger than he was and he would walk along the ledge batting at the Oscars. When they swam up to the side to investigate, he would arch up his back and try to prove that he wasn’t scared. 🙂

My “Cabbit”

He grew into a beautiful cat with a silky soft coat, almost like rabbit fur. In fact, we called Max our “cabbit” because his little stump of a tail and hopping gait made him seem half cat, half rabbit. Boy, could he jump! Manxes are built with much longer legs than most cats to make up balance for not having a long tail. In pet show society, if a Manx has a “hopping gait”, like Max had, he would be considered ‘sub-par’ and not show material, because the bunny hop is considered to be a sign of ‘Manx Syndrome’, in which the last few vertebrae of the spine are shortened or weak.  In fact, most kittens with Manx Syndrome do not live more than a few weeks or months. But Max made it to 19! He loved to pose for the camera and loved being the center of attention. And he was always so brave. When we lived at my mom’s house, I used to let him and Cleo out into the back yard there, which is much like an open park area – there are small herds of deer that cross through the yard in the morning and evening. I wish I would have gotten a video of it, but there was one time when Max was out there and he actually CHASED the deer! It was like his feral instinct took over and the deer were his prey! My mom and I just looked at each other in shock that this little cat would actually chase something as big as full grown deer. LOL. The deer started, and moved away, but then they realized that there was no way Max was going to hurt them. He stopped and sat there watching them for a minute and then returned to the patio. I’m sure in his mind, he had successfully ‘defended’ his territory.

Posing in the sunlight

He was always so handsome and would always talk to you when you entered the room. I think it’s going to take some time to get over losing this guy. I’ve always believed in quality of life over quantity. Max’s quality of life had steadily gotten worse in the past few months since losing Cleo. He had severe arthritis in his hips and his last spinal vertebrae finally disintegrated, making it impossible for him to get up and walk. So I know that even as hard as it is for me, I made the right choice and had to let him go.

Goodbye, my sweet cabbit. I know you’ll be happy being reunited with Cleo and you won’t suffer anymore.  You were well-loved. Thank you for filling my life with such tender joy and smiles. I will miss you more than you know.

R.I.P. Max (1993 – 2012)

About dragonkatet

Regarding the blog name, Dragon’s Dreams ~ The name comes from my love-affairs with both Dragons and Dreams (capital Ds). It’s another extension of who I am, a facet for expression; a place and way to reach other like-minded, creative individuals. I post poetry and images that fascinate or move me, because that’s my favorite way to view the world. I post about things important to me and the world in which we live, try to champion extra important political, societal and environmental issues, etc. Sometimes I wax philosophical, because it’s also a place where I always seem to learn about myself, too, by interacting with some of the brightest minds, souls and hearts out there. It’s all about ‘connection(s)’ and I don’t mean “net-working” with people for personal gain, but rather, the expansion of the 4 L’s: Light, Love, Laughter, Learning.
This entry was posted in Animals, Death, Life, Love, Nature. Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Goodbye, Max

  1. It’s amazing how attached you become to animals — telling non pet people about the loss of an animal can be difficult. Some people, sadly, don’t get animals. You will be fine, just remember the long life he had.

    • dragonkatet says:

      Thanks very much for your kind words. You are 100% correct – any animals I was lucky enough to share a home with became “family” to me. I will never understand how anyone could hurt an animal or how they can’t see how much they add to our lives. Thank you again for reading and taking the time to comment. 🙂

  2. An incredibly moving post. I know exactly what it’s like to lose your best, feline friend. My cat Tom was hit by a car when she was 13 and I was 8 😦 It was one of the most painful experiences I had to endure. You’ll pull through, it may be difficult but you will. Just think of all of the happy times and know that you fulfilled his life whilst he was alive 🙂 R.I.P., Max, and I hope you get better soon.

    • dragonkatet says:

      Thank you for your very kind comments, Adrian. I am sorry for your loss, as well. It will take time, but I know you are right. Animals enrich our lives in so many different ways, and there are many times that I have thought that they are so much nicer than humans. Thank you again and I hope you find a smile today. 🙂

  3. eebrinker says:

    i dread having to put my jazzers to sleep — she cries a lot these days and seems to have overall pain. but walking still, and i guess she’s about 17. am sorry you lost your baby.

  4. Jo Bryant says:

    Corina my heart hurts for you. As much as the loss will hurt for a very long time…I am so glad Max had you guys to give him such a wonderful life. I’ve had to part with a couple of animals over the years. It is such a hard decision to make. But for all the grief and pain that followed after I had in my memories 100 times that amount of joy and love. I wish I could give you a bunch of great big {{{hugs}}}…but I am sending them in my thoughts.

    • dragonkatet says:

      Thank you, my friend. I treasure those hugs right now. You’re so right that it’s a tough call to make, but once you accept that animal into your life, you owe it to them at the end to make sure that they don’t suffer. I’m sorry I haven’t been by your blog in awhile. With the exam and then this, I kind of feel a bit drained and have only been sporadic about my online visits. I know you understand and I will be by soon.

      • Jo Bryant says:

        Just take care of yourself and let yourself be whatever it is you need to be. When I had to put Tia to sleep back in 2004 I cried for two weeks solidly. She had been in my life for 17 years and was such a part of our family. I broke for a while after she was gone. But eventually those 17 years put me back together again. I still miss her every single day. But I wouldn’t trade the grief I felt…because then I wouldn’t have those amazing 17 years sharing my life with such a special soul. Be kind to yourself. I am thinking of you.

      • dragonkatet says:

        Thanks, sis. I am taking your advice and being nice to myself. It will get better, I know. I also agree that I wouldn’t trade my years with my fur-babies for anything, no matter how much it hurts. xo

  5. Bodhirose says:

    Dear Corina…so very sorry to hear that you have lost a close friend. They do leave a void in our lives don’t they…just as any loved one would. It’s not easy, whether human or animal but do believe, in time, we will be reunited. Take care, sweet friend, your heart will soon feel better.

    A beautiful cat…he was quite dignified looking…

    • dragonkatet says:

      Thanks, Gayle. Yes, there is a void. I know it will get better soon. It’s been hard losing both my guys in the same year. I’m hoping next year will not have so much loss in it. Thanks for coming by and for your kind comment. xox

  6. Luke Prater says:

    I’m sorry to read this, sis. Hope you are keeping your chin up

    • dragonkatet says:

      Thanks, Luke. Yes, I’m doing alright. I knew the day was coming, but it was still hard. But, even as much as it hurt, I wouldn’t change it. Nothing quite like the love of a good animal. 🙂 Thanks for coming by and the nice comment. I will be hopping by your new space soon!

  7. I’m sorry you have lost a friend, such a graceful friend! It was very intriguing to read Max story and I very much enjoyed the images, sweet kitty images are like nothing else. Be strong and well Corina!

  8. bendedspoon says:

    Hugggs to you Corina. There is so much love in this post — a great take home for Max which I am sure he will brag about 😉

  9. Hope he will be happy wherever he is though I guess not so much as when you were with him.Having said good bye to a lot of pet friends since childhood, this post teared me up. But your words are so filled with love that I feel we should celebrate the beauty of Max’s soul and his gift of love. Hugs to you! His pics are so lovely!

    • dragonkatet says:

      Thanks, Reena. It’s always hard to lose a loved one, but you’re so right that the memories should celebrate the life they lived! Thank you for the hugs and for taking the time to read and comment. 🙂 Hugs back to you, my friend!

  10. lividlips says:

    I would have to say that I was almost moved to tears after reading this post. I can relate to you, I have a cat named Emily, and one day I moved to a new house, and she managed to escape. She disappeared for 17 days! During that time I was in college, and I failed all my exams during her departure, because I was consumed with anxiety and finding her. Then on the 17th day, I was laying in my bed on the second floor with the window open and I heard an all too familiar “mow”. That’s right she doesn’t “meow” she “mows”. I immediately new it was her, and as soon as I opened the door she jumped into my arms. She looked near death. She lost 80% of her original weight, and appeared as though she lost several cat fights. It took 2 weeks to nurse her back to health.
    I understand the attachment you had with your cat. They do become family, and I’m so sorry for your loss, but stay strong and I wish you happy thoughts and memories!

    • dragonkatet says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and leave such a nice comment. I am so glad your Emily returned to you safe and sound! 🙂 Animals like ours are lucky to have people who care so much for them.

  11. Jamie Dedes says:

    This is so hard. It s so, so sad to lose our little ones. I’m so glad to see that you are an adopt-a-pet person too.

    No wonder you haven’t been blogging …


    • dragonkatet says:

      Thanks, Jamie. Yes, it’s hard, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. To have had both my guys as long as I did was a huge blessing. When we love them, we accept that we won’t have them forever, but it doesn’t take away the joy and love we get to share. Thanks for coming by and for such a kind comment. I do appreciate it.

  12. Jamie Dedes says:

    Reblogged this on THE CAT'S MEOW and commented:
    Corina just lost her kitty friend. The homage/memoir she wrote is lovely … and we have special affection for her because she adopts rescues.

  13. Aww, I’m sorry. I lost my kitty when she was 16. They make such great friends.

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